Malmö Red Eyes in the Inaugural European AFL Champions League, March 21, Amsterdam.
A cold, wet, windy day of heavy footies, some very sore bodies and five games played in the right spirit.
1st, def by Toulouse Hawks (1.2.8 to 8.4.52):
Apparently the Red Eyes were the only team in the competition smart enough to realise they were in a party town and make the most of it on the Friday night. Apparently that’s not the best idea when you play the 9am match against a well oiled team of 16 Gaetans. The boys from France came out firing and while the Red Eyes held them off OK in the first half, the second was a lot more one-sided. Not the ideal start.
2nd, def Manchester Mosquitoes (3.1.19 to 2.1.13):
Despite the call from the coach at the end of the first match to start thinking about the after party, the Red Eyes had a point to prove and some pride to selvage. They fought hard to the very end, keeping out a late salvo of attack to keep the boys from Manchester on their path to a the last place play off.
3rd, def by Rhineland Lions (2.2.14 to 3.6.24):
The lions would ultimately make, but lose, the grand final. So the scores here speak volumes (at least more than I can say about it; we’d moved indoors by now).
4th, def by Belfast Red Backs (1.3.9 to 9.7.61):
Maybe the words of the coach had finally sunk in, maybe it was the expectation that Gav would be able to carry the team after being kind enough to join us for the afternoon, but the form dropped again for the last group match. The high point was Ross putting his best foot forward for ruck duties this year.
7/8 Playoff, def Solna Axemen: (can’t find the scores, but we won by a couple of goals)
A game we seriously considered forfeiting so we could catch the early bus back into town (after dropping Dave Oz off at the tivoli on the way), we ended the tournament on a high note by beating our Swedish cousins, the Solna Axemen. The long bombs out of the centre from Choco to Tony created most of the opportunities and they weren’t wasted. Good work everyone!
Red Eye Players Choice Man of the Series: Gaetan Blondeau. Solid in defence all day.
AFL Europe Team of the Tournament selection: Daniel Scotford. He actually earned the AFL Europe jumper, unlike Matt who just bought one.
Most goals: Tony Persson. Not bad for a back.
Winner of an AFL Europe free lunch for umpiring matches all day: Aaran Higgins, Paul Barron.
Overlooked for an AFL Europe free lunch despite goal umpiring all day: Ryan Davidson
Best destroyer of tables left on the sideline: Sigscar Kristiansen
Best Riddler: Ross Levesque